Historic Motorsport: Formula Atlantic revival being planned

The 1970s single-seater series could be set for a full-time return with around 40 cars known to Historic Sports Car Club

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The Formula Atlantic single-seater category from the 1970s is set for a revival, starting with a pilot race at the Legends of Brands Hatch meeting on June 30/July 1.

The Historic Sports Car Club will run a dedicated Formula Atlantic class for the cars within the Derek Bell Trophy races at Brands as the category heads towards its 50th anniversary in 2021.

Prime movers of the idea are Iain Rowley and Alan Morgan, the originators of Historic Formula Ford 2000, and they are targeting as many as 15 cars to race alongside the Formula 5000 and Formula 2 cars at Brands.

Rowley and Morgan are keen to get more Atlantic cars back to racing and already have a database of around 40 cars.

'I’ve always thought a Formula Atlantic was a proper racing car,' said Rowley. 'We’d like to get as many as 15 cars on the grid as well as a display of non-running cars in the paddock.'

Morgan added: 'If things go well at Brands then we'd like some stand-alone races next year. But we will work with the HSCC Historic F2 series as that also has classes for Formula Atlantics.'

Formula Atlantic grew out of the US Formula B category and started in the UK in 1971 for 1600cc single-seater racing cars powered by production-based twin-cam engines. The class gained considerable support and was a support race to the British Grand Prix but faded later in the 1970s under the threat from Formula 3.

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Dodd to mark Ginetta anniversary

Graeme Dodd plans to mark 50 years of the Ginetta G16 sports-racing car by entering his example in the Guards Trophy race at Thruxton’s 50th anniversary meeting on June 2/3.

Dodd and his son James proved it to be a race winner against the might of the Chevron B8 pack that usually sets the pace in the Guards Trophy races. However, the former Worcestershire Racing Association car has not been used for several seasons.

'It has been in the garage for about four years and as it is 50 years old this year we decided to get it out and race again,' said Dodd. 'I’ve had a lot of fun in the Ginetta.'

The Dodds also plan to race the Ginetta, one of only eight built, with Masters at the Silverstone Classic although their main focus for the season is sharing an E-type in the Jaguar Classic Challenge.

Walker rebuilds after Kielder shunt

Rally driver Alan Walker has already started the rebuild of his Ford Escort Mk2 after it was heavily damaged on the Pirelli Rally last month. The car cartwheeled in a Kielder ditch and was later t-boned by the Hillman Avenger of Eliot Retallick.

Walker immediately received offers of help and parts from fellow competitors and hopes to have it repaired in time for the Carlisle Stages or Red Kite Stages in June.

'It could have been a lot worse and I’ve had offers of help from people like Ben Friend, Will Onions, Rob Smith and Ieuan Rowlands,' said Walker. 'I should get all the parts I need fairly quickly.'

Rare Datsun races at Cadwell Park

Steven Worrad raced a rare Datsun YB110 in the HSCC's 70s Road Sports invitation class at Cadwell Park. Worrad took the 1972 1200cc car from France in part-exchange for a touring car and hopes to race it two or three more times this summer. As one of only three such cars believed to be racing in Europe, the car is for sale.

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Historic F1 heads to Brands Masters

Two races for the FIA Masters Historic Formula 1 Championship headline this weekend’s Masters Festival on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. After the opening two races at Imola in April, Mike Cantillon, who drives a Williams FW07, tops the Post ’78 competition and Jamie Constable heads the Pre ’78 points, although Constable has yet to enter for Brands.

Chevron anniversary race opens its doors

Entries have opened for the 50th anniversary race for the Chevron B8 at the Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The 40-minute race on Monday 27 August will feature a compulsory pit-stop and optional driver change and is open to all Chevron B4s, B6s and B8s with a current FIA Historic Technical Passport.

HSCC F2 attracts big grids

An excellent 26-car entry will tackle rounds three and four of the HSCC Historic Formula 2 FIA International Series on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit during this weekend’s Masters Historic Festival. March 742 driver Richard Evans should be the benchmark, but faces opposition from a gaggle of quick rivals.

O'Brien gets a taste of Formula Junior

British GT contender Michael O’Brien made his Formula Junior debut at Cadwell Park in the ex-Alastair Pike Lotus 20 from the Silverstone-based Speedsport team. 'The car is still a work in progress,' said O’Brien. He claimed two second places in Lincolnshire to his friend and former team-mate Cameron Jackson.

Datsun success

Julian Barter raced the Datsun 240Z of his father Charles in the HSCC's 70s Road Sports race at Cadwell Park on Sunday. Charles took a win in the first of the weekend’s two races, but had to miss Sunday’s due to his role in organising the Alresford Watercress Festival. 'Alresford is the water cress capital of the world,' said Barter senior.

20 FF2000s to Charade

More than 20 UK-based Historic Formula Ford 2000s are heading to the former Clermont Ferrand track of Charade in France this weekend for a pair of races. Of the 28 cars that raced at Cadwell over the weekend, only three are also going to France including Cadwell winner Benn Simms, so at least 50 HFF2000 cars are currently active in the UK.

Bartell bounces back

Max Bartell was fortunate to make the Cadwell Park Historic FF1600 weekend after clobbering his Merlyn Mk20 in testing on Friday. Nigel Grant, who runs the car, used all of his spares and more parts were borrowed from a range of fellow competitors. 'Everyone helped out, which was brilliant,' said Bartell ahead of his first races of the season.

Busy month ahead for Rowley

Historic race car preparer Iain Rowley started a four-week European foray yesterday, starting with commitments at both Zolder and Charade this weekend. From Zolder he will head to Lithuania to start the three-weekend Formula Junior Baltic Tour, where he will race Ian Robinson’s Lola Mk5. He is due back in the UK on June 19.

Images courtesy of Paul Lawrence and LAT

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